What does “diet” mean
Typically when people think of the word “diet” the first thing that pops into your head is a temporary change in the way you eat to lose some weight. When I googled diet I got this:
First I want to focus in on definition 2. Growing up I remember seeing various family members struggling with weight. I specifically have this memory of an aunt who had lost a lot of weight on one of the fad ‘diets’. She had reached her goal weight and was so happy she could eat whatever she wanted again. At that moment I remember thinking ‘but isn’t eating whatever you wanted how you got overweight in the first place?’. I kept that thought to myself but it has stuck with me ever since.
After that moment in time I went on with life, graduated high school, went to college, had my children, etc. One day I suddenly realized I was overweight. Then I got sick, very sick and was diagnosed with leukocytoclasitc vasculitis. I couldn’t eat the foods I use to eat, they made me sicker. It was at that moment in time I was forced to change my lifestyle diet.
This brings me to definition #1. When I say the word diet now I am referring to this definition. Now although I was forced to change my diet because I was sick, when I got better I did not go back to my old ways. Again, life went on but I was still overweight. Now I was actively trying to lose weight but the most I lost was 10 pounds. I continued the struggle but I refused to go on a fad diet.
Life continued on then suddenly one day the weight started melting off. I lost weight so fast that I didn’t have time to buy new clothes before I was in a smaller size again. I wasn’t even really trying to lose weight at the time. Sure I was still eating the same healthier foods since I had been sick 2 1/2 years earlier but what did change was my exercise. You see I had moved my daughter to a different school, which required a different route to/from work. I lived in Manhattan at the time and I went from walking her three blocks to school then walking two blocks to catch a bus to the PATH station.
My new routine was usually taking a cab or bus to her school then walking three blocks to a subway station, going down two flights of stairs, getting off that subway and walking up three flights of stairs, walking two blocks to the PATH station, going down about four flights, then getting off the PATH train and going up two flights of stairs, then walking three blocks to my office. Then I had to do all that in reverse on my way home. I went from a size 16 to a size 8 in six months. Everyone, teachers, neighbors, co-workers, friends, family, everyone was shocked at my weight loss. They all asked how I did it and I just said eating right and exercise.
A diet is all about a lifestyle choice. When I advise people on cooking and eating I tell them a diet is your lifestyle choice, not the latest fad that’s going around. Sure that fad may help you lose weight, but what is it teaching you to do when you reach your goal weight? I am proof that just because you eat the right foods doesn’t mean you are going to lose that weight.
In these pictures you can see the changes from before and after, not only is my face thinner but I look happier too. Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to know if you are struggling with weight you aren’t the only person. Getting to your goal weight is possible. It just takes hard work.
I’ll continue this in my next post about how I transitioned into paleo and AIP.
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